CAGAYAN Valley is confident it can sustain its form even without head coach Alvin Pua as the Rising Suns play two more games before facing fancied Hapee in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
With the playoffs just around the corner and teams battling for positions, the second-running Rising Suns are trying to keep their record unblemished and keep pace with league-leading Hapee.
But the Moala Tautuaa-led Rising Suns play their next two games minus Pua, who still has to serve two of the three-game suspension handed for physical contact with two referees during a recent game in the Aspirants Cup.
[See Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua suspended three games, fined P50,000 for 'physical contact' with referee]
The Rising Suns won their first game without Pua, scoring a 95-86 overtime win over Racal Motors last week in Marikina. Cagayan Valley holds a 7-0 record, while Hapee has an 8-0 mark.
Assistant coach Nonoy Bonleon believes they can sustain the form without Pua, but revealed they are now actually already bracing for the much-anticipated match against Hapee on January 22.
“Ang importante, nandiyan si coach sa Hapee. Kasi kung may swerte kami, magiging sad sila,” Bonleon said.
Bonleon, however, made it clear they are not underestimating their next two opponents in AMA University on January 5 and Tanduay Light on January 8 and that they still hold practices during the holiday break. Tanduay Light and AMA are currently in the middle of the pack with a 4-4 and 3-5 win-loss records respectively.
“Hindi ko naman inu-underestimate pero medyo hindi sila ganun kabigat. Pero hindi pa rin kami puwedeng magkumpiyansa. Kaya nga balik kami sa practice tapos balik kami ng January 2 kasi may laro kami sa January 5,” said Bonleon.
“Basta kami, laban lang kami ng laban. Ang lamang namin is ’yung speed at resistensya,” Bonleon said.